Best Practices for Content Marketing Strategy
Content marketing is a highly effective tactic for drawing in leads and keeping them engaged with your brand throughout the sales journey. It is why B2B and B2C businesses alike have embraced them as a crucial piece of their overall marketing efforts.
Start with the Strategy
Before you start blogging or creating videos, it is important to take the time to develop the content marketing strategy. Start by thinking about-about who your audience is and how you can help them. People want to be educated not sold to so identifying the target audience, personas and core messages to reach them at each stage of the buying cycle is essential to making the effort return results.
Come up with a plan
You must operate your content marketing strategy like a publisher operates her magazine. You should come up with a monthly editorial calendar where you plan out content, assign writers, videographers, and photographers to generate content, ensure everything goes through an editorial and promotional process, and release timely content. When it comes to your content marketing strategy, you cannot “wing it.” You’ll want to plan the sequence of the content delivery in meaningful steps that engage prospects in a way that works with their schedules.
In terms of blogging, when B2B companies post blogs 11 to 20 times per month, they generate almost three times more traffic over B2B companies that never post or only post a couple of times a month. Videos, another popular form of content, have proven to attract customers and generate sales as well. Nearly 50% of internet users will watch a product or service video before going into a store.
Get everyone on board
Your content marketing strategy cannot be created in a silo. You must have buy-in from all the relevant departments at your company, from the executives to the public relations team and your salespeople. Executives will provide you with a budget, the public relations team or agency will promote your content, and salespeople will work in tandem with you to guide leads through the sales funnel. For best success, everyone on the team should be included in the planning and encouraged to share his or her thoughts about your content marketing strategy.
Fulfill your prospects needs
Your content marketing strategy should be always guided by the question, “How can we meet our audiences’ needs?” It should not be, “How can we sell our product or service to our audience?” Create content that will make people’s lives easier and offer them something useful, informative, and/or entertaining.
If you are a B2B company, that educational content might include a whitepaper or guide about how to improve a business process. If you are a B2C company, it could be a video related to how your product is commonly used.
Measure your results
Every piece of content in your content marketing program should fulfill a particular purpose and have a call to action (CTA). For example, if you write a blog post to drive people to sign up for your email newsletter or create a video that will convince them to subscribe to your YouTube channel. After you release your content, measure how it performed and figure out how you can improve upon your results next time. It might require testing a few different methods before you get it just right.